When it's time to cook, clean or have fun with messy hands-on craft projects, children's four-corner aprons are a smart solution to keep their clothes clean and dry through the task. Four-corner aprons are a smart spinoff of the traditional full apron style and make a good substitute for the bib-style smock. Rather than cut curves and corners to get the apron shape, a four-corner apron is created from a square piece of fabric.
Cut to Size
Measure how long you need the four-corner apron to be according to the size of the child. Start at 2 to 3 inches below the neck and measure to the point where you want the bottom of the apron to be. Record this measurement.
Open up and lay flat one piece of fabric. Take one corner and fold it over on a diagonal to the other side. For example, take the bottom left corner and fold it over to go in the direction of the top right corner. Because the fabric is uneven, the two corners will not meet.
Measure from the one "neat" corner where the fold is all the way down along the fold and mark the location of your length measurement. Snip the fold at that location.
Fold the neat corner over to meet the point of your snipped fabric mark, and cut along the diagonal edge of the fabric, away from the fold. This will give you a neat and even square without extra measurements.
Open up the folded piece into a square and lay it across the other piece of fabric. Cut around the edges to end up with two squares of the same size.
Cut three 4-inch-thick strips of fabric, each 2 feet long, for the pullover neck strap and for the two waist tie straps.
Sewing the Apron
Lay the first piece of fabric with its right side facing up and place the other piece of fabric over it with its right side facing down. Pin around the edges and set aside.
Iron a narrow fold along the lengths of the fabric strips on both sides, and iron the same narrow fold at one end of two strips. Fold the strips of fabric in half lengthwise, and match up the folded edges with the right sides out. Pin the edges.
Sew the strips of fabric along the edges and the folded ends. Measure the length for the neck strap that will be sewn to the top of the apron at both of its ends to make a pullover loop. Cut to the desired length.
Insert the neck strap in between the two fabric squares, and pin each end of the neck strap to the top of the four-corner apron, 3 to 5 inches down from the top corner, one on each side of the corner.
Insert the unfinished ends of each of the other straps in between the fabric squares and pin to the two corners that will be at waist level when the square is positioned as a diamond--one corner up, two corners on the sides and one corner down.
Sew around the perimeter of the double-layered square about 1/2 inch from the edge and around each corner, leaving a large enough opening along one side to turn the apron right side out. Cut off the excess fabric at the corners--between the edge of the fabric and the stitching--to make them smooth and flat when turned inside out, but do not cut through the stitching. Turn it inside out and press the edges flat.
Sew a top stitch along the edges of the four-corner apron to give it a finished look and to close the opening. Fold the top corner of the apron down in the front to reveal the contrasting fabric design.